Monday, June 14th
Boris has confirmed what’d pretty much been said already, i.e. that “Freedom Day” is being postponed from June 21st to July 19th.
The limit on the number of guests for weddings will, however, be lifted as long as “social distancing is observed”. What on earth is that supposed to mean?!
I don’t think there was any choice about this, but I’m extremely sorry for people whose jobs/businesses are affected.
At least nothing was said about local lockdowns. However, “the Liverpool City Region”, Cheshire. Warrington and Birmingham have been added to the naughty list. Where is this “extra support” we’re all meant to be getting, anyway? I wasn’t exactly expecting to see a regiment of soldiers marching down the street, but I was expecting something.
On a different note, it’s so nice to be watching grass court tennis again, at last … although Rafa’s being a bit vague about Wimbledon.
Tuesday, June 15th
Hooray! Completely unexpectedly – I’d been waiting almost a week for an answer – I received an e-mail to say that people can work from home 2 days a week for at least the next 6 months, and hopefully indefinitely. I still haven’t had an answer as to whether we remain WFH full time until July 19th, but I’m (optimistically) assuming so.
I didn’t expect that at all. If this can go on long term, it really will make things a lot better.
Wednesday, June 16th
My October holiday to Japan’s been cancelled. The holiday company’s pulled its entire Far Eastern programme for the rest of the year, because a lot of those booked on it are from Australia and New Zealand and therefore unlikely to be allowed out until 2022. I wasn’t really expecting it to go, and I suppose at least now the uncertainty’s been removed, but I’m very sad at losing a second year of travel, am not sure what to do instead, and didn’t really expect to have to process this just now.
France has started vaccinating children, but we’re being told that that’s unlikely to happen here. I take the point that the risk to kids is very low, but kids are being sent home from school because another kid in their class has tested positive, and other family members have to isolate if their kid/sibling tests positive, so it’s all a bit of a mess.
The 2021/22 football fixtures came out today.
Meanwhile, cases keep on rising. Deaths, thankfully, don’t.
Thursday, June 17th
My brain really cannot deal with much more this week. The latest is that Rafa isn’t playing either Wimbledon or the Olympics. He’d kind of hinted at Wimbledon, but I’m surprised about the Olympics – although I do understand that it’s a lot of surfaces, travelling and time zones. But I’m sad 😦 .
There’s renewed talk about vaccine passports to make foreign travel easier. I’m still hoping to go abroad in the autumn – I don’t think it’s the year for long haul bucket list trips like Japan, but I would very much like to get to Italy. Meanwhile, from having had far lower rates than Italy, Spain, France etc, we’ve now got higher rates, thanks to the people who travelled between Bolton/Blackburn and the Indian sub-continent at a time when millions of people didn’t even leave their local areas for over five months, then spread the variant around. Some people were even boasting to the local press about how, after Pakistan was put on the red list, they were dodging quarantine by flying home via Turkey. Israel and parts of the US have been able to scrap almost all restrictions now that so many people have been vaccinated, whereas we, with everyone over 18 now able to book vaccines and vaccination rates higher than anywhere in Europe (except Gibraltar, I think), recorded over 11,000 cases today.
And Stroppy Sturgeon has banned travel between Scotland and Manchester/Salford. No consultation, no notice, no warning.
Friday, June 18th
England v Scotland tonight! So nice to have everyone focused on something other than the pandemic.
Torrential rain down south, meaning that there was no tennis 😦 , but it was dry here, and I managed to book to go evening strawberry picking at the very lovely Kenyon Hall Farm.
Almost all Covid cases in the UK are now the bloody Delta variant. Case numbers aren’t rising by nearly as much, but they’re still rising. Stroppy Sturgeon has told Scots not to go to Manchester, although how she plans to enforce that is anyone’s guess. And Italy has imposed a 5 day quarantine on visitors from the UK. Bleurgh.
The water board have asked me to read my own meter and submit the reading online, “because of Covid”. I have no problem doing this: I’ve been doing it for years with the gas and electricity. But I am sick of organisations using “because of Covid” as an excuse to cut services. “The bank/post office/library will only be opening limited hours, because of Covid.” “It will take longer than usual to answer your call, because of Covid.” “It may take longer than usual for your parcel to arrive, because of Covid.” Gah!!
Come on England …
Later – FFS! England 0-0 Scotland. That is not the result we wanted!
Saturday, June 19th
Gold star for the weather for staying nice today … and please, please be nice for my Lakes week in July too.
I went to Bodnant Garden today – so pleased to be able to see the famous Laburnum Arch (photo on the left), which I missed last year because we weren’t allowed into Wales at the right time. They’ve scrapped that ridiculous one way system which no-one could follow last year, so you just walked round as you pleased, which was much better!
Then I went into Llanrwst, and then stopped at Colwyn Bay on the way home.
It was nice to see some coaches around: domestic coach tours have resumed. But it’s so frustrating that, after everything we’ve been through, and the success of the vaccination programme, we’re now stuck with the Indian variant. So many of the cases are in schools that it’s hard to see how the vaccination programme can stop it from spreading: there are no plans to vaccinate schoolchildren.
Sunday, June 20th
Andy Burnham has had a right go at Stroppy Sturgeon over the travel restrictions, and demanded compensation for anyone affected.
I’ve managed to set up the NHS app on my phone – which, believe me, was a lot easier said than done. It’s such a nightmare that I know some people who’ve ended up giving up. So, hooray, app set up, downloaded my vaccination certification … only to find that the certificates expire after 30 days. WTF? They have “barcodes”, which “refresh” every 30 days, “to protect your data”. Excuse me? Do passports expire after 30 days? Do driving licences expire after 30 days? Do you become unvaccinated after 30 days? What if they expire whilst you’re somewhere with no internet connection? I really am annoyed about this. There’s already concern about the whole idea of “proving your status”, which does sound a bit like something out of Nazi Germany, and then they make it extremely difficult to set up the app in the first place and then have this 30 day business. So stupid.
Went to Hollingworth Lake this morning. Rained overnight, dry during the day.
I really do not like Nicola Sturgeon.